DVRs, Bose, Degradation
The DVR provided by Cox only has an 8-hour capacity for storing HD broadcasts. The only alternative I've found is $1000 for an HD TiVo and renting cable cards. Any suggestions?
The TiVo HD DVR is great, far better than any DVR supplied by a cable company. I don't know where you're getting $1000 fromthe TiVo HD is $300, and it has enough hard-disk space for 20 hours of HD.
Another option is the Moxi HD DVR from Digeo; see our review here. The Moxi also needs CableCard to work with digital cable. One advantage of the TiVo is that it will also receive over-the-air DTV, while the Moxi is limited to cable.
The only other option is to dump cable and get satellite, though I think the TiVo and Moxi user interfaces are far superior to any satellite DVR I've seen.
My family will be moving into a new house at the end of the year. My wife wants a big HDTV and a Bose Lifestyle system because she likes the way it sounds. I am pretty sure that the size of the speakers plays a large part in her preference as well.
We have been to some electronic stores in the area to look at component-based systems, but my wife and I are turned off by the idea of "having to spend at least $10,000" (sales person quote) to get a decent system. That is WAY beyond our budget.
Are there systems that don't take over the whole room, sound good, and are easy for novices to set up and use?
Please help if you canmy family and marriage thank you!
You don't need to spend $10,000 to get a good system. If you're looking at the Bose Lifestyle system, you want what we call a "home theater in a box" or HTIB, which includes speakers, receiver, and disc player in one easy-to-set-up package.
If your wife likes the sound of the Bose, go for it, but most of my colleagues and I don't really like its sound. For other ideas, see our HTIB buyer's guide. If your budget permits, I would get an HTIB with Blu-ray playback, unless you already have a PlayStation 3 or other Blu-ray player.
How Do I Know?
On The Tech Guy radio show, you mentioned that some receivers degrade the video signal that passes through them. I'm looking to upgrade my non-HDMI receiver to go with my new Sony BDP-S550 Blu-ray player, Mitsubishi 65-inch DLP TV, and Boston Acoustics speakers. The last thing I want is to degrade the video signal to the screen. How can I find out which receivers degrade or do not degrade the video signal that passes through them? The choice of receivers already has me confused enough.
The best way to determine if a receiver degrades the video signal is to read the receiver reviews on HomeTheatermag.com. We recently implemented a suite of video tests that reveal any problems with the receiver's video performance.
If you have a home-theater question, please send it to email@example.com.